ASCII Database .DBF File Description


The ASCII Database filter imports data from dBase/xBase database .DBF files.


File Description

Xbase is a complex of data files .DBF, indexes .NDX, .MDX, .CDX, etc. and eventually note files .DBT for storing large amounts of formatted data in a structured form.


File Format

DBase's database system was one of the first to provide a header section for describing the structure of the data in the file. This meant that the program no longer required advance knowledge of the data structure, but rather could ask the data file how it was structured. Note that there are several variations on the .DBFfile structure, and not all dBase-related products and .DBF file structures are necessarily compatible.


A second filetype is the .DBT file format for memo fields. While character fields are limited to 254 characters each, a memo field is a 10-byte pointer into a .DBT file which can include a much larger text field. DBase was very limited in its ability to process memo fields, but some other xBase languages treat memo fields as strings just like character fields for all purposes except permanent storage.


DBase uses .NDX files for indexes. Some xBase languages include compatibility with .NDX files while others use different file formats.


File Name Extensions



Import Options

Choose the File | Import command.



See Also

File Format Chart

File | Import